AQUINO TANK weekend: 27 / 28 May 2017

Canada's Largest Military Show. Details here.

 

 
The Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum, Oshawa Ontario

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Welcome to our Museum

 

The Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum maintains Canada's largest collection of operational military vehicles. Our popular 'Tank Saturdays' are an experience for the senses and visitors of all ages. Join us throughout Spring/Summer  to see Canadian, Commonwealth and Allied Forces' military vehicles up close and in action!

THE REGIMENT       |       VEHICLES       |       PLAN YOUR VISIT       |       VOLUNTEER       |       150th ANNIVERSARY       |       CONTACT US

   
  Regimental History
   
  OUR BADGE: THE ORIGIN OF THE BLACK CAT SYMBOL
   
 

 The Black Cat  |  Colours, Customs, TraditionsAppointments through the Years (COs, RSMs, honoraries)  |  Historical Photo Gallery

   
 

Early Years

From 1866 to 1902, Canadian Militia badges were virtually identical in design, consisting of the Queen's (Queen Victoria's) crown on top and the battalion numeral in the centre. The badge of our unit, the 34th Battalion, bore the Roman numerals XXXIV and was similar in style to many other Canadian Militia units of the time.

 

1900s
In 1902, regimental commanding officers were given the opportunity to design their own badges. At that time, the Commanding Officer of the 34th was Lieutenant Colonel McGillivray. Hailing from Sunderland, Ontario, Colonel McGillivray chose parts of the design from his family crest, consisting of a "cat-a-mountain" or a highland wild cat, but changed to a black house cat sitting on a cushion and the motto "Fidelis et Paratus" (Faithful and Prepared This badge was authorized in 1904.

 

World War I
During World War I, standard maple leaf badges bore numerals denoting each battalion's designation. These were worn throughout most of the Canadian Militia and the Canadian Expeditionary Force. (The exception being some Canadian cavalry and infantry regiments including, for example, the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Royal Canadian Regiment and some highland regiments.) During this period, the Ontarios' badge included the numerals 116 (for the first or overseas battalion) and 182 (for the second or Canadian-based reserve battalion which provided hundreds of reinforcements to battalions in Europe).

 

World War II
After World War I, the badge went through several changes. It was felt that a cat in a fighting stance was more appropriate for a regiment which had seen so much action in Europe. The docile seated cat was replaced with a cat in fighting stance, back arched, tail bristling: Statant, Gardant, Irate.  

 

Newly introduced regulations which forbade the use of numerals on cap badges, posed an identification problem for the Regiment. This challenge was solved by placing a circle at the base of the scroll and dividing it into four quadrants, one of which has been cleared, giving the idea of 'three from four' or 34.

A further change occurred owing to the Regiment's composition during WW I. As men from each of Canada's nine provinces (pre-1949) had served with the unit on active duty from 1914 to 1918, a wreath of nine maple leaves was placed on the badge with the regimental motto Fidelis et Paratus banded around the cat.

 

The badge worn from the 1920s-early 1950s was adorned with the Imperial or Tudor Crown, also known as "King's Crown".

 

 

1953

In 1953, the Regiment's cap badge badge was modified after HM Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne.

 

The updated badge was adorned with the Crown of St. Edward, more commonly known as the "Queen's Crown".

 

To this day, every member of the Regiment -- irrespective of rank -- wears the same brass or anodized metal cap badge.

 

Despite attempts to introduce a wire/cloth officers cap badge in both the 1960s and 1980s, the unit's traditional metal badge bearing the distinctive cat has survived unaltered.

 

Present day (post-2010)

The cap badge was updated slightly to colourize the 'autumnal' leaves. The face of the Black Cat was altered to appear somewhat more sinister and 'cat-like'. The Cat's body itself was, to some extent, trimmed and toned.

 

This version was authorized on 11 Jun 2010.

 

Click to view larger version

Click to view larger version (3MB)

 

The present-day badge of The Ontario Regiment (RCAC).

(Image courtesy of the Directorate of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence)

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum.

All rights reserved.

 

Our address

1000 Stevenson Rd N , Oshawa, ON  Canada  L1J 5P5  

 

Tel 905.728.6199  

 

Email  info@ontrmuseum.ca

 

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We are a volunteer-operated accredited Canadian Armed Forces Museum. We are funded by the generosity of our visitors, patrons, serving and retired members of the Regimental Family and our local community.

 

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Driving directions: From Hwy 401 (Exit 415) at Stevenson Rd, drive north approx 4.5km (8min) to the Oshawa Municipal Airport.

 

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Preserving the 150-year history of our Regiment and its soldiers for future generations.

 

Last updated: 23-Dec-2016